If the early Paul Thomas Anderson seemed to be channeling the young hyper-energetic Martin Scorsese, 'There Will Be Blood' - a more quiet and thoughtful, but no less amazing and cinematic work - shows Anderson working in the vein of Stanley Kubrick. In place of a hyperactive camera, there is now a coldly, brilliantly observational one. In place of empathetic if damaged characters there are now people drowning in their own poison and lies.
He has created a film both boldly theatrical and subtly real, both broadly political and intensely personal. Complicated and intentionally confusing emotionally, with a protagonist gradually subsumed by greed, the film is full of ideas and themes, but feels more mature and focused than Anderson's earlier work, brilliant as that all was. Daniel Day Lewis is amazing, the film looks incredible (if simply shot for an Anderson film), one only sees more and more layers and meanings on repeated viewings.
One of the more important films of recent years, this critique of the American dream - both personal, and by extension national - of success, of conquest, and of control is mesmerizing, and ultimately devastating.
on April 21, 2013
Oh my goodness what a performance by Daniel Day-Lewis my god this guy is good
with his acting skills hands bloody down.Wow you got to see this movie which is
a true story by the way.i just can't believe there is only seventeen reviews
of this movie man what ashamed..
"This is one epic American classic that should not be missed" Daniel Day-Lewis, gives the
Academy Award Winning performance of his life, Daniel Plainview [Day-Lewis] and his son
are independent oil men, prospecting through California at the turn of the 20th century,
who was challenged by a young preacher, Eli Sunday played by [Paul Dano] which both men
lives turn into an abyss, and a darkly-journey of madness,
I have watched this movie So many Times, that the first time he meet the people to pitch his
prospecting ideas, I think I can recite every word that was said, here's what was said,word for word,
"Ladies and gentlemen, I traveled over Jist about half our state to get here this evenin'.
I couldn't get away sooner, because my new well was a-comin' in at Lobos River, and I had
to see about it.That well is now flowin' four thousand barrel, and payin' me an income of
five thousand dollars a day, I got two others drilling', and I got sixteen producin'
at Antelope. So, ladies and gentlemen if I say I'm an oil man, you got to agree,
"You got a great chanct here, ladies and gentlemen; but bear in mind, you can lose it all if you ain't
carful, out of all the fellers that beg you for a chanct to drill your land, maybe one in twenty will be oil men;
the rest will be speculators, fellers tryin' to get between you and the oil men. to get some of the money
that ought by rights come to you, Even if you find one that has money, and the means to drill, he'll maybe
know nothin' about drillin', and have to hire out the job on contract- and then you're trying to rush the
job through, so as to get to another contract jist as quick as he can. But, ladies and gentlemen, I do my
own drillin', and the fellers that work for me are fellers I know, I make it my business to be there and to see to their work.
I don't lose my tools in the hole, and spend months a-fishin'; I don't botch the cementin' off, and let water into the hole,
and ruin the whole lease, And let me tell you, I'm fixed right now like no other man or company in this field,
Because my Lobos River well has jist come in, I got a string of tools all ready to put to work, I can load a rig onto trucks,
and have them here in a week, I've got business connections, so I can get the lumber for the derrick--
such things go by friendship,in a rush like this, That's why I can guarantee to start drillin'; and put up the cash
to back my work, I assure you whatever the others promise to do,
when it comes to the showdown, they won't be there.
Runtime 158 Minutes.
5.1 Surround Master Audio.
If you ever explore threads asking people to list the movies they find the most boring, you'll see that There Will Be Blood is often mentioned. I can understand why. The opening 14-and-a-half minutes doesn't contain any dialogue unless you count the occasional grunt or cry of pain. The score is often unsettling and unlike anything you would expect to hear. The pacing is slow and the film has plenty of painful scenes.
The opening scene is set in 1898 and gives us immediate insight into the character of Daniel Plainview (Day-Lewis). We see him working alone, prospecting for oil. It's a physically demanding occupation which is full of danger. One small lapse can cause a severe injury or even death. Plainview falls down a well shaft and breaks his leg, but discovers oil in the process. We then see him crawl backwards as he slowly makes his way into town to register the find. He's one of the most stubborn and driven characters you will ever see portrayed on film.
In 1902, he's working with a group of men, and we are reminded again how dangerous the work is. A tiny mistake results in the death of a man and Plainview adopts his orphaned baby boy.
The story jumps forward several years and we see Plainview and his adopted son, HW, attending a town meeting. Plainview has discovered that the region contains oil and we see him making an offer to extract the oil. His argument is calm, reasonable, and logical. He's quite a salesman. He talks of other offers the town may receive and why his own proposal is the best solution for everyone. We are given the impression that he knows what he's talking about and it's difficult to resist his offer.
When Plainview is visited by Paul Sunday (Dano), the main part of the film begins. Paul offers to reveal the location of land rich in oil and he negotiates a price for the information. Plainview visits the town and finds that the information is accurate. He begins buying up all the available land.
The film contains a power struggle between Plainview and Eli Sunday (also played by Dano). Eli becomes Plainview's enemy immediately by negotiating a higher price for his father's ranch than Plainview expected to pay. Eli is also the town's priest and he seeks power and recognition at every available opportunity. Plainview sees him as a fake and doesn't seem to have any religious beliefs of his own, but he's forced to bow to Eli's wishes on several occasions.
I've barely touched on the plot, but I won't reveal any more. This is a sprawling story spanning several decades. It's one of the most intense character studies that I've ever seen. You'll see how Plainview relates to other people and his adopted son. He's a ruthless businessman and it's dangerous to cross him. In one scene, we hear his honest thoughts on society:
"I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed. I hate most people."
That last sentence is spoken with irony, but Plainview makes it clear that he understands his own true character. As the story progresses, we see what obsession and hatred can do to a man when it's maintained over a long period of time.
My knowledge of film isn't as deep as you would expect for someone of my age. It's a relatively new obsession in my life. However, I believe that Daniel Day-Lewis delivers the best acting performance I have ever seen. I didn't doubt for a moment that he was a bitter, obsessed, driven man, capable of doing anything to bring him closer to his goals. Day-Lewis is in every scene and the film wouldn't have had the same impact without his astonishing performance.
The technical aspects of the film are also superb. Jonny Greenwood's unusual score is particularly effective. One of my favorite moments happens during a drilling accident when the percussion increases in tempo as the scene unfolds. The cinematography is breathtaking at times. There's an early scene in which Plainview and HW approach the crest of a hill and the distant landscape is revealed. It's one of several moments of extreme beauty in the film.
If the film has a fault, I would say that the final 20 minutes don't quite match the quality of the rest of the story. This closing sequence still works, and contains a few memorable moments, but the first two hours are close to perfect.
If you enjoy character studies that aren't afraid to take the time to tell a story, There Will Be Blood might be your kind of film. If you need action and an upbeat conclusion, then it's probably not for you.
on March 9, 2011
There Will Be Blood is one of the finest films of the decade and one of the greatest of all time. Daniel Day-Lewis is otherworldly as Daniel Plainview, a performance that stands with the best of Brando or De Niro. I couldn't believe when I saw people on here had rated this movie as anything less than 5 stars. The direction and cinematography are suberb, the storyline is both epic and personal, and the film explores the very essence of capitalism itself. This is a triumph of the highest order.
The criticisms on here echo those of moviegoers who are not versed in the language of cinema. This film is no more "slow" than Citizen Kane. This is one of the handful of perfect films ever made, in which not a thing is out of place. If you didn't enjoy the film, that's fine, but There Will Be Blood is objectively perfect.
on May 15, 2008
daniel day-lewis is genius. it is hard to take your eyes off this performance. the direction and attention to detail is fantastic. this is a film for film lovers. it's no popcorn flick. but if you appreciate art films, this is a gem.
on January 30, 2013
Here's the thing: The movie "There Will Be Blood" and Sinclair's novel on which it is 'based' ("Oil !") should be considered as separate entities.
The film is very well done, to be sure. However, it only covers roughly 100 or so pages of the novel. In fact, there is SO much more to the book that it is probably more accurate to say that the film was "inspired by" - rather than based upon - Sinclair's work. This may explain why the film was not given the same title.
To begin with, the film focuses - it is seen/told, if you will - from the father's perspective; the novel is from the son's. There are portions in the novel which caused it to be banned and/or censured in some parts of the USA after publication. These passages, as well as other story details, do not appear in the film.
Both the film and the novel stand on their own merits and it is better to view each from this perspective. If one is expecting the film to 'be' the novel, then disappointment will likely follow. :0)
on May 4, 2015
One of my favourite films. Great quality Blu-ray. I wish the packaging was better - it feels very cheap. But the film is great.
Set in the period between the late 19th century and the Great Depression of the 20th century, when oil was discovered in the Los Angeles Basin, this movie portrays the best and the worst in the human race. On one hand, there is the collective drive to open up America to all its great untapped wealth. This was a period when families like the Rockefellers of New York went west to make their fortunes in the oil business. Big corporations like Union Oil and Getty Oil cashed in on the the oil booms of Venango County, Pennsylvania, the Texas Panhandle and Lower California. On the other hand, the rush to acquire this wealth brought out the insatiable greed and ruthlessness in individuals bent on destroying others who ever got in their way of becoming rich. This movie is a retelling of the story of one man, Daniel Plainview, and his underhanded efforts to lease private properties in order to obtain the critical drilling rights. Daniel, as played by Daniel-Day Lewis, is a despicable character who takes shut-cuts with his workers, exploits relationships, lies, kills, and browbeats in order to build up his oil fortunes. To create a greater sense of balance in the storyline, the director produces a curious religious countervail or distraction to the commercial designs of Plainview and his kind. The frontier evangelist and his Church of the Third Revelation should combine to be the force that offsets all that is bad in the valley where oil derricks are springing out of nowhere. But it won't be long before the viewer discovers otherwise. This is truly a dog-eat-dog environment where everyone and his 'brother' names their price and there is no honor among thieves. Day-Lewis definitely plays a sparkling role in conveying the brutal side of life. One should have no problem seeing him as an unrepentent villain who cares for no one, including himself. Be prepared for an interesting ending that speaks to the heart of man's passion to compete. This is the best film on the Robber Baron/Gilded Age I've seen since "Citizen Caine".
on September 2, 2015
One of the greatest movies of the 21st century. A powerhouse performance by DDL.
on June 30, 2015
Daniel day Lewis is the best actor in there genes look up Gangs of New York ;)